Baseball Closes 2012 Campaign at Home with Georgia This Weekend

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Jon Kelton is one of eight seniors that will play their final games at UA this weekend.
Jon Kelton is one of eight seniors that will play their final games at UA this weekend.

May 16, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Crimson Tide returns to SEC play on Thursday, May 17, at 6:35 p.m. CT, with game one of a three-game series against Georgia. The series continues on Friday at 6:35 p.m., and wraps up on Saturday with a 1:05 p.m. CT game.

All games for the 2012 season will be broadcast on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. All three games of the Georgia series can be heard on WFFN-FM 95.3. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will provide the radio commentary for the Georgia series. The audio and video broadcast, along with live stats will be available at

Senior Day for Alabama will be on Friday night of the Georgia series. Prior to the start of Friday night’s game, UA will honor eight seniors; Taylor Dugas, Nathan Kennedy, Josh Rosecrans, Jon Kelton, Hunter Gregory, Jared Reaves, James Tullidge, and Jason Zylstra.

THURSDAY                         W-L  ERA   G/GS   IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO
UA-Spencer Turnbull (Fr., RHP)   2-5  5.04  14/9   50.0  47  29  28  25  43
UG-Alex Wood (Soph., LHP)        6-2  2.68  14/13  90.2  84  28  27  19  87

FRIDAY                           W-L  ERA   G/GS   IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO
UA-Jon Keller (Fr., LHP)         1-5  4.18  19/8   60.1  59  31  28  23  37
UG-Michael Palazzone (Sr., RHP)  2-5  4.93  14/12  73.0  85  45  40  11  60

SATURDAY                         W-L  ERA   G/GS   IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO
UA-Charley Sullivan (Jr., RHP)   2-3  4.98  13/10  59.2  75  37  33  12  32
UG-Luke Crumley (Fr., RHP)       3-2  4.05  20/4   33.1  29  16  15  16  20

Taylor Dugas has jumped Ben Moore for the team batting lead with a .345 average. Dugas had four hits last week and two more against Troy to increase his school record to 331 career hits, which also ranks third all-time in the SEC. Dugas leads the Tide in average, runs (40), hits (68), doubles (12), triples (6), walks (23), hit by pitches (18), and slugging percentage (.497). Ben Moore is second on the team with a .339 average, which is 11th in the SEC. Moore is hitting .340 during conference games, to rank sixth in the SEC. Moore is third on the team with 63 hits and 30 RBI and is second with 10 doubles.

Jared Reaves and Brett Booth are tied for the team lead with four home runs and 32 RBI each. Reaves is fourth on the team with a .317 average. James Tullidge has started the last 26 games. He is third on the team with a .337 average this season and is second on the club with a .457 on-base percentage. Tullidge leads the team with a .355 average during SEC games. With a hit against Troy on Tuesday, Tullidge has the team’s longest current hitting streak at seven games. He’s hitting .476 (11-24) during that stretch.

Georgia (30-22, 13-13 SEC) comes into the final weekend of SEC play having won six of their last eight games. Georgia has won four of its last five SEC games, which includes a sweep of Auburn, and a split of two games against South Carolina. The Bulldogs defeated East Tennessee State, 7-4, on Tuesday in a non-conference game.  Georgia comes into the final series of the season in fourth place in the SEC Eastern Division standings. The Bulldogs are hitting .280 as a team this season, while averaging 9.3 hits and 5.2 runs per games. The UG pitching staff has a 3.83 ERA, while holding opponents to a .270 average.

Curt Powell leads the team with a .346 average and 43 runs scored. Peter Verdin is hitting .319 overall, but leads the team with a .337 average during SEC play.  Hunter Cole leads the club with seven home runs, and Kyle Farmer has a team-high 38 RBI. Farmer, who leads the team with 68 hits, is fourth on the squad with a .306 average.

Game one starter Alex Wood enters the weekend with a 6-2 record and a 2.68 ERA. He leads the team with 90.2 innings pitched and 87 strikeouts. Friday starter Michael Palazzone has a 2-5 record with a 4.93 ERA in 14 appearances and 12 starts this season. Palazzone is 2-3 with a 4.58 ERA in nine SEC starts. Luke Crumley, who is 3-2 with a 4.05 ERA, will start the final game of the series. It will be Crumley’s fifth start of the season and fourth during SEC play.

In a series that dates back to 1904, the three games of this week’s series with Georgia will mark games 132-134 all-time between the two schools. Alabama holds a slim advantage in the series with a 66-65-2 record against the Bulldogs. This series will be the first conference series between the two teams since meeting in Tuscaloosa in 2009. In the last SEC series, Alabama defeated the top-ranked Bulldogs in two out of three games.  The last two meetings between the team teams were non-conference games. Alabama defeated Georgia, 13-2, at Regions Park in 2010, and the Bulldogs defeated the Tide, 6-3, at Coolray Field in 2011. Alabama has won the last six series played in Tuscaloosa, which dates back to the 1997 season. UA has won three of the last five, seven of the last 10, and 10 of the last 15 games in the series. UA head coach Mitch Gaspard is 1-1 all-time against Georgia. Both games were non-conference meeting in his two years at Alabama.

In the final non-conference game of the Season, Alabama defeated Troy, 10-5, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Tuesday. The 10-run outburst marked the Tide’s fourth game this season with at least 10 runs. Austen Smith hit his third home run of the season as part of a 2-for-3, two RBI night. Starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau earned the win to improve to 4-2 on the season, and now leads the team in wins. Brett Booth was 2-for-4 with two doubles, and Taylor Dugas and Jared Reaves had two hits each. Jake Hubbard threw three scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts.

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